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Ensign Elisha Dotson, combat information officer from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, helps a local Thai unload supplies off a truck in Bangkok on Nov. 18. Sailors from the Lassen visited the Thai Red Cross Society distribution center and helped locals load, unload and distribute supplies. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. The III MEF Flood Relief Command Element consisting of joint service members will provide assessment for additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand.
Ensign Elisha Dotson, combat information officer from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, helps a local Thai unload supplies off a truck in Bangkok on Nov. 18. Sailors from the Lassen visited the Thai Red Cross Society distribution center and helped locals load, unload and distribute supplies. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. The III MEF Flood Relief Command Element consisting of joint service members will provide assessment for additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Ensign Elisha Dotson, combat information officer from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, helps a local Thai unload supplies off a truck in Bangkok on Nov. 18. Sailors from the Lassen visited the Thai Red Cross Society distribution center and helped locals load, unload and distribute supplies. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. The III MEF Flood Relief Command Element consisting of joint service members will provide assessment for additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand.
Ensign Elisha Dotson, combat information officer from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, helps a local Thai unload supplies off a truck in Bangkok on Nov. 18. Sailors from the Lassen visited the Thai Red Cross Society distribution center and helped locals load, unload and distribute supplies. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. The III MEF Flood Relief Command Element consisting of joint service members will provide assessment for additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
U.S. service members remove fallen debris at the Sanamchai School in Lop Buri on Nov. 20, 2011. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts.
U.S. service members remove fallen debris at the Sanamchai School in Lop Buri on Nov. 20, 2011. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Satellite operator Lance Cpl. Christopher Brown, right, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Charlie Harper, a gunner's mate, gain perspective on the effects left from flood water as they help clean up the Sanamchai School in Lop Buri on Nov. 20, 2011. Brown, an Atkinson, N.H. native, is with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relied Command Element. Harper, a Spokane, Wash. native, is with the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts.
Satellite operator Lance Cpl. Christopher Brown, right, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Charlie Harper, a gunner's mate, gain perspective on the effects left from flood water as they help clean up the Sanamchai School in Lop Buri on Nov. 20, 2011. Brown, an Atkinson, N.H. native, is with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relied Command Element. Harper, a Spokane, Wash. native, is with the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Maj. Jason Wintermute, an anti-terrorism force protection officer, interacts with local children in Lop Buri on Nov. 20. Wintermute, a West-Chester, Penn. native, is with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts.
Maj. Jason Wintermute, an anti-terrorism force protection officer, interacts with local children in Lop Buri on Nov. 20. Wintermute, a West-Chester, Penn. native, is with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element. Joint U.S. forces came together to assist the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare College clean community facilities. U.S. forces continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
U.S. Marine Maj. Eric Mattson helps load food, water and medical supplies on the Royal Thai  Army truck that was sent out to the flood victims in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 19, 2011.  In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S.  Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief  operations in Thailand. The III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element consisting of Marines and sailors from Okinawa, Japan will provide command and control for possible additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand.
U.S. Marine Maj. Eric Mattson helps load food, water and medical supplies on the Royal Thai Army truck that was sent out to the flood victims in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 19, 2011. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. The III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element consisting of Marines and sailors from Okinawa, Japan will provide command and control for possible additional U.S. forces to assist the Royal Government of Thailand. (Jessica Olivas/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Marines attached to III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element, and sailors from the USS Lassen work together to clear damaged items from a temple at Saban Bridge that was affected by the recent flooding on Nov. 21. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, the U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. III Marine Expeditionary Force sent a Flood Relief Command Element consisting of Marines and sailors from Okinawa, Japan which provide command and control for additional U.S. forces to assist the Government of Thailand.
Marines attached to III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element, and sailors from the USS Lassen work together to clear damaged items from a temple at Saban Bridge that was affected by the recent flooding on Nov. 21. In coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Royal Government of Thailand, the U.S. Pacific Command directed theater service components to conduct joint operations in support of disaster assessment and relief operations in Thailand. III Marine Expeditionary Force sent a Flood Relief Command Element consisting of Marines and sailors from Okinawa, Japan which provide command and control for additional U.S. forces to assist the Government of Thailand. (Brandon Saunders/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Cpl. Wyethpaul N. Yadao stands alongside a member of the Royal Thai Army while removing debris and opening relief distribution sites in Ayutthaya on Nov. 23, 2011. Yadao, a Kailua Kona, Hawaii, native, is attached to the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element. Service members continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts.
Cpl. Wyethpaul N. Yadao stands alongside a member of the Royal Thai Army while removing debris and opening relief distribution sites in Ayutthaya on Nov. 23, 2011. Yadao, a Kailua Kona, Hawaii, native, is attached to the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element. Service members continue to support the Royal Government of Thailand in their flood relief efforts. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
A line of 7-ton tactical vehicle replacements and flat-bed semi-trucks loaded with water pumps, hose reels, and other equipment are staged on the pier in Laem Chabang on Nov. 29, 2011. The equipment will be used in flood recovery efforts by a detachment of Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion who will be working with the Royal Thai Air Force to conduct water removal operations at the Don Mueang Airfield in Bangkok. U.S. forces working in conjunction with III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element, as well as, interagency partners continue to support and assist the Royal Government of Thailand through combined operations to provide humanitarian assistance and flood relief to the citizens of Thailand.
A line of 7-ton tactical vehicle replacements and flat-bed semi-trucks loaded with water pumps, hose reels, and other equipment are staged on the pier in Laem Chabang on Nov. 29, 2011. The equipment will be used in flood recovery efforts by a detachment of Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion who will be working with the Royal Thai Air Force to conduct water removal operations at the Don Mueang Airfield in Bangkok. U.S. forces working in conjunction with III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element, as well as, interagency partners continue to support and assist the Royal Government of Thailand through combined operations to provide humanitarian assistance and flood relief to the citizens of Thailand. (Megan Angel/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)
Marines with 3rd Marine Logistics Group place flood relief equipment on top of a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement during their relief efforts Nov. 29, 2011. In conjunction with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element and interagency partners, servicemembers helped with flood relief efforts pertaining to the Don Mueang Airport and its facilities.
Marines with 3rd Marine Logistics Group place flood relief equipment on top of a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement during their relief efforts Nov. 29, 2011. In conjunction with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element and interagency partners, servicemembers helped with flood relief efforts pertaining to the Don Mueang Airport and its facilities. (Matheus Hernandez/Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — With floodwaters finally receding, U.S. servicemembers on the ground helping Thailand recover from its worst flooding in decades are no longer needed — at least for now, U.S. government officials announced Wednesday.

The majority of the 600 U.S. servicemembers, including a 100-man command element, who have served in a humanitarian capacity over the course of the past few months were told their services were no longer needed by the Royal Thai government, said 2nd Lt. Greg Carroll, a spokesman for the III Marine Expeditionary Force Flood Relief Command Element.

However, the Thai government did ask that troops bring more aid in February when they come to participate in the annual Cobra Gold exercise.

“The majority of U.S. forces have returned,” Carroll said in an email. “Our combined and joint efforts during Exercise Cobra Gold will be focused on flood relief and the scope will be determined based on conditions as flood waters continue to recede.”

The Kingdom of Thailand, a strategic ally of the U.S., suffered months of heavy monsoon rains and flooding that reached the capital, killing almost 700 people and causing tens of billions of dollars in economic damage, according to media reports.

A 10-man Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team comprised of Marines from III MEF arrived in mid-October to survey the damage. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group also traveled to the region but left soon after as no request for assistance came. The guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin arrived for a port visit in late October about two weeks before the arrival of the command element and additional Navy assets and equipment.

While in country, the troops participated in assessments, community relations efforts and relief operations, which included the cleaning of Lop Buri and the reclamation of a school. They also opened a medical facility, loaded and unloaded relief supplies to be distributed by the Red Cross, and recovered the Don Mueang Airport, Carroll said.

During a visit in November, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged a $10 million aid package, and the State Department, along with USAID, delivered $1.1 million for boats, water purifiers, and relief supplies through the Thai Red Cross and International Organization for Migration.

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